Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, is establishing a lasting foundation for progress against global hunger. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. Feed the Future efforts are driven by country-led priorities and rooted in partnership with donor organizations, the private sector, and civil society to enable long-term success. Feed the Future aims to assist millions of vulnerable women, children, and family members to escape hunger and poverty, while also reaching significant numbers of children with highly effective nutrition interventions to prevent stunting and child mortality.
Over the next five years in Kenya, Feed the Future aims to help an estimated 502,000 vulnerable Kenyan women, children and family members—mostly smallholder farmers—escape hunger and poverty. More than 230,000 children will be reached with services to improve their nutrition and prevent stunting and child mortality. Significant numbers of additional rural populations will achieve improved income and nutritional status from strategic policy engagement and institutional investments.
To meet its objectives, Feed the Future Kenya is making core investments in three key areas:
Feed the Future is targeting high-rainfall areas with dense populations, high poverty and malnourishment, as well as semi-arid areas. Both areas have great potential for raising agricultural productivity. These target areas also encompass the highest concentrations of malnourished children, female-headed households, and rural poor.
Science and Technology. U.S. support to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute focuses on research on crops for the semi-arid zone, including improved seeds, pest control, and food safety for maize, sorghum, millet, sweet potato, cowpea, and pigeon pea. Feed the Future also works with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services to increase quality and availability of drought-tolerant crops and varieties.
Engaging Women and Youth. Feed the Future supports activities that empower women and improve the nutritional status of women and children. Women manage an estimated 44 percent of Kenya’s smallholder households and are active at every point in the food chain. Their contribution to commodities, grown mainly in home gardens, is quite significant, providing essential nutrients and often the only food available during the lean seasons or when the main harvest fails. Feed the Future will also engage youth in farming, processing and trading to relieve high levels of youth unemployment. More than 67 percent of the under- and unemployed in Kenya are young women and men of 15 to 30 years of age.
Value Chains. Feed the Future is focusing its efforts on improving several key agricultural value chains: horticulture, dairy and maize for the High Rainfall (HR) areas; and drought-tolerant crops (sorghum/millet and root crop systems), drought-tolerant maize, horticulture, and pulses for Semi-Arid (SA) areas. Attention is focused on every “link” in the value chain—from inputs like fertilizer and seeds, to credit, to production methods, storage, transport, processing, farmers’ cooperatives, and markets in Kenya, East Africa and overseas.
Women will form a core target group in the s FTFS because of their critical role in food production and nutrition in Kenya. It is estimated that nearly half or 44 percent of Kenya’s smallholder households are managed by women. This is largely attributed to rapid rural to urban migration by men in search of employment. Women are active at every point in the food chain and are often responsible for protecting the safety and wholesomeness of food in their households. Their contribution to food commodities such as pulses, potatoes, legumes, sorghum, fruits and vegetables is quite significant. Grown mainly in home gardens, they provide essential nutrients and are often the only food available during the lean seasons or when the main harvest fails.
In the dairy sector, women and the ultra-poor predominate in the informal milk chain. A gender value chain assessment completed by USAID in High Rainfall Zone 1 found that while the ―morning‖ milk is sold to processors, the ―evening‖ milk is often left for family consumption under the control of women in the majority of male-headed households. Most surpluses after consumption are sold in the informal chain, generating income directly for women in these households.
By FY10, female-headed households comprised 49 percent of households that benefited from USAID/K assistance. Strategies that contributed to increased women’s participation included decentralized extension approaches that are tailored to suit women’s time schedules, promotion of ―gender-balanced‖ crops and leadership training for women, and use of embedded business development service (BDS). The horticulture program recorded the highest number of women beneficiaries by supporting nutritious crops – including leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, beans and butternut squash – where women predominate in production and marketing, and where they have greater control over revenues. Horticulture marketing contracts between women’s groups and buyers were established, allowing women to receive their payments directly.
The Kenyan FTFS will support activities that economically empower women and improve the nutritional status of women and children. Building on USAID/K’s past successes in gender and value chains, the FTFS will: Increase women’s gains by expanding support to nutritious horticultural and staple food crops; Promote private sector response by which small improvements to the informal milk chain, where women and the poor and ultra-poor predominate, could lead to healthier and more affordable options; Through the FTF Innovation Engine, seek innovations that promote local-level processing of fortified foods, such as through ―posho mills,‖ that are easily accessible and affordable to rural women; Catalyze social innovation approaches that reduce gender inequalities in agricultural production and benefits from production – such as innovations in agricultural labor saving technologies and practices to reduce women’s labor burden, linking women to extension and markets and promoting farming as a family business; Undertake gender-value chain assessments for each of the targeted sub-sectors in FTF geographical areas to guide implementation; and Scale-up training on integration of gender in value chains to all FTFS partners.
The Mission is currently reviewing options for reinforcing its existing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework by establishing a comprehensive knowledge management system that builds links to ongoing initiatives aimed at strengthening U.S. Government, national and regional agriculture sector-wide M&E and knowledge management.
USAID/K will link to the GOK-led and CAADP-mandated ―National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System‖ which will serve as a mutually agreed framework for performance monitoring towards the goal of increasing food security. The Mission also will link its knowledge management system to the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), an information and knowledge management initiative, to promote and support effective and sustainable agricultural and rural development strategies across Africa. Through ReSAKSS, the Mission will collaborate with the USAID/EA and other Missions in Africa in tracking intra-regional trade data. The Mission will also use ReSAKSS to provide meta-analyses contributing to synthesized studies suitable for shared learning by numerous stakeholders.
The Mission will utilize the following tools in establishing and maintaining its M&E efforts: The Mission’s FTFS Results Framework which is the conceptual and analytical structure that establishes the goals and objectives of the FTF Initiative in Kenya; A performance monitoring/management plan (PMP) comprised of standard and custom FTF performance indicators to track progress toward desired results. Data systems will be developed and refined based on findings of a Mission-wide data quality assessment (DQA) carried out in March/April 2011; Tegemeo Institute poverty analyses in conjunction with Africa Bureau/Sustainable Development Office (AFR/SD); The Mission will undertake local capacity-building investments to improve the quality and frequency of data collection and use; Biannual independent indicator surveys by Tegemeo Institute to gauge progress made towards achieving results and a feedback loop to improve performance; Mid-term and impact evaluations will be carried out to determine the measureable effects of the FTFS investments; and The Mission will engage in regular knowledge-sharing activities with FTFS development partners and implementers to foster learning and use of M&E findings.
Number of new technologies or management practices made available for transfer as a result of USG assistance; Number of rural households benefiting directly from USG interventions; Number of producers organizations, water users associations, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) receiving USG assistance; Percentage of children < 5 years who are underweight
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